House Bill No. 104
Introduced By hagener
By Request of the Office of Public Instruction
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act transferring the responsibility for payment of education costs for a student placed in an out-of-state treatment facility to the state agency responsible for the placement decision; amending sections 20-5-321, 20-5-323, 20-5-324, 20-7-403, 20-7-420, and 20-7-422, MCA; repealing section 20-5-316, MCA; and providing an effective date.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 20-5-321, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-321. Attendance with mandatory approval -- tuition and transportation. (1) An out-of-district attendance agreement that allows a child to enroll in and attend a school in a Montana school district that is outside of the child's district of residence or in a public school district of a state or province that is adjacent to the county of the child's residence is mandatory whenever:
(a) the child resides closer to the school that the child wishes to attend and more than 3 miles from the school the child would attend in the resident district and:
(i) the resident district does not provide transportation; or
(ii) the district of residence provides transportation and is not within the same county as the child's school district of choice;
(b) the child resides in a location where, due to road or geographic conditions, it is impractical to attend the school nearest the child's residence;
(c) the child is a member of a family that is required to send another child outside of the elementary district to attend high school and the child of elementary age may more conveniently attend an elementary school where the high school is located, provided that the child resides more than 3 miles from an elementary school in the resident district or that the parent is required to move to the elementary district where the high school is located to enroll another child in high school;
(d) the child is under the protective care of a state agency or has been adjudicated
by a court of competent jurisdiction to be
an abused or neglected child, as defined in 41-3-102, or to be a youth in need of supervision or a delinquent youth, as
defined in 41-5-103 , and has been placed in a licensed youth care facility that is approved by the department of public
health and human services and, as a result of the placement, is required to attend school outside of the child's district of
(e) the child is required to attend school outside of the district of residence as the result of a placement
by a state agency or
parent in a group home licensed by the state or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction in foster care or a group home
licensed by the state.
(2) (a) Whenever a parent or guardian of a child, an agency of the state, or a court wishes to have a child attend a school under the provisions of this section, the parent or guardian, agency, or court shall complete an out-of-district attendance agreement in consultation with an appropriate official of the district the child will attend.
(b) The attendance agreement must set forth the financial obligations, if any, for costs incurred for tuition and transportation as provided in 20-5-323 and Title 20, chapter 10.
(c) The trustees of the district of choice may waive any or all of the tuition rate, but any waiver must be applied equally to all students.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), the trustees of the resident district and the trustees of the district of choice shall approve the out-of-district attendance agreement and notify the county superintendent of schools of the county of the child's residence of the approval of the agreement within 10 days. The county superintendent shall approve the agreement for payment under 20-5-324(5).
(4) Unless the child is a child with disabilities who resides in the district, the trustees of the district where the school to be attended is located may disapprove an out-of-district attendance agreement whenever they find that, due to insufficient room and overcrowding, the accreditation of the school would be adversely affected by the acceptance of the child."
Section 2. Section 20-5-323, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-323. Tuition and transportation rates. (1) Except as provided in subsections (3)
and (4) through (5), whenever a
child has approval to attend a school outside of the child's district of residence under the provisions of 20-5-320 or
20-5-321, the basis of the rate of tuition is a flat rate for each of the 15 district-size groupings determined by rule by the
superintendent of public instruction by March 15 of each year, using statewide district expenditure and revenue data for the
general fund, debt service fund, and retirement fund to determine the average district contribution.
(2) The tuition for children with disabilities must be determined under rules adopted by the superintendent of public instruction for the calculation of tuition for special education pupils.
(3) The tuition rate for out-of-district placement pursuant to 20-5-321(1)(d) and (1)(e) for a student without disabilities who requires a program with costs that exceed the average district costs must be determined as the actual individual costs of providing that program according to the following:
(a) the district of attendance and the district, person, or entity responsible for the tuition payments shall approve an agreement with the district of attendance for the tuition cost; and
(b) for a Montana resident student, the average district per-ANB foundation payment amount received in the year for which the tuition charges are calculated must be subtracted from the per-student program costs for a Montana resident student.
(4) When a child attends a public school of another state or province
or has been placed by a state agency in an out-of-state
residential program, the amount of daily tuition may not be greater than the average annual cost per student in the child's
district of residence. This calculation for tuition purposes is determined by totaling all of the expenditures for all of the
district budgeted funds for the preceding school fiscal year and dividing that amount by the October 1 enrollment in the
preceding school fiscal year. For the purposes of this subsection, the following do not apply:
(a) placement of a child with disabilities pursuant to Title 20, chapter 7, part 4;
(b) placement made in a state or province with a reciprocal tuition agreement pursuant to 20-5-314;
(c) an order issued under Title 40, chapter 4, part 2; or
(d) out-of-state placement by a state agency.
(5) When a child is placed by a state agency in an out-of-state residential facility, the state agency making the placement is responsible for the education costs resulting from the placement.
(5)(6) The amount, if any, charged for transportation may not exceed the lesser of the average transportation cost per
student in the child's district of residence or 21.25 cents per mile. The average expenditures for the district transportation
fund for the preceding school fiscal year must be calculated by dividing the transportation fund expenditures by the October
1 enrollment for the preceding fiscal year."
Section 3. Section 20-5-324, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-324. Tuition report and payment provisions -- exemption. (1) At the close of the school term of each school fiscal year and before July 15, the trustees of a district shall report to the county superintendent:
(a) the name and district of residence of each child who is attending a school of the district under an approved mandatory out-of-district attendance agreement;
(b) the number of days of enrollment for each child reported under the provisions of subsection (1)(a);
(c) the annual tuition rate for each child's tuition payment, as determined under the provisions of 20-5-323, and the tuition cost for each reported child; and
(d) the names, districts of attendance, and amount of tuition to be paid by the district for resident students attending public schools out of state.
(2) The county superintendent shall send, as soon as practicable, the reported information to the county superintendent of the county in which a reported child resides.
(3) Before July 30, the county superintendent shall report the information in subsection (1)(d) to the superintendent of public instruction, who shall determine the total per-ANB entitlement for which the district would be eligible if the student were enrolled in the resident district. The reimbursement amount is the difference between the actual amount paid and the amount calculated in this subsection.
(4) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (5), tuition payment provisions for out-of-district placement of students with disabilities must be determined pursuant to Title 20, chapter 7, part 4.
(5) Except as provided in subsection (6), when a child has approval to attend a school outside the child's district of residence under the provisions of 20-5-320 or 20-5-321, the district of residence shall finance the tuition amount from the district tuition fund and any transportation amount from the transportation fund.
(6) When a child has mandatory approval under the provisions of 20-5-321, the tuition and transportation obligation for an elementary school child attending a school outside of the child's county of residence must be financed by the county basic tax for elementary districts, as provided in 20-9-331, for the child's county of residence or for a high school child attending a school outside the county of residence by the county basic tax for high school districts, as provided in 20-9-333, for the child's county of residence.
(7) By December 31 of the school fiscal year, the county superintendent or the trustees shall pay at least one-half of any tuition and transportation obligation established under this section out of the money realized to date from the appropriate basic county tax account provided for in 20-9-334 or from the district tuition or transportation fund. The remaining tuition and transportation obligation must be paid by June 15 of the school fiscal year. The payments must be made to the county treasurer in each county with a school district that is entitled to tuition and transportation. Except as provided in subsection (9), the county treasurer shall credit tuition receipts to the general fund of a school district entitled to a tuition payment. The tuition receipts must be used in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-141. The county treasurer shall credit transportation receipts to the transportation fund of a school district entitled to a transportation payment.
(8) The superintendent of public instruction shall reimburse the district of residence for the per-ANB entitlement determined in subsection (3).
(9) (a) Any tuition receipts received under the provisions of Title 20, chapter 7, part 4, or 20-5-323(3) for the current school fiscal year that exceed the tuition receipts of the prior year may be deposited in the district miscellaneous programs fund and must be used for that year in the manner provided for in 20-9-507 to support the costs of the program for which the tuition was received.
(b) Any other tuition receipts received for the current school fiscal year that exceed the tuition receipts of the prior year may be deposited in the district miscellaneous programs fund and may be used for that year in the manner provided for in that fund. For the ensuing school fiscal year, the receipts must be credited to the district general fund budget.
(10) The provisions of this section do not apply to out-of-state placements made by a state agency pursuant to 20-7-422."
Section 4. Section 20-7-403, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-7-403. Duties of superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent of public instruction shall supervise and coordinate the conduct of special education in the state by:
(1) recommending to the board of public education adoption of those policies necessary to establish a planned and coordinated program of special education in the state;
(2) administering the policies adopted by the board of public education;
(3) certifying special education teachers on the basis of the special qualifications for the teachers as prescribed by the board of public education;
(4) establishing procedures to be used by school district personnel in identifying children with disabilities;
(5) recommending to districts the type of special education class or program needed to serve the children with disabilities of the districts and preparing appropriate guides for developing individualized education programs;
(6) seeking for local districts appropriate interdisciplinary assistance from public and private agencies in diagnosing the special education needs of children, in planning programs, and in admitting and discharging children from those programs;
(7) assisting local school districts, institutions, and other agencies in developing full-service programs for all children with disabilities;
(8) approving, as they are proposed and annually after approval, those special education classes or programs that comply with the laws of the state of Montana, policies of the board of public education, and the regulations of the superintendent of public instruction;
(9) providing technical assistance to district superintendents, principals, teachers, and trustees;
(10) conducting conferences, offering advice, and otherwise cooperating with parents and other interested persons;
(11) ensuring appropriate training and instructional material for persons appointed as surrogate parents that outlines their duties toward the child, limitations on what they may do for the child, duties in relation to the child's records, sources of assistance available to the surrogate parent, and the need to seek competent legal assistance in implementing hearing or appeal procedures;
(12) ensuring that the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act are met and that each educational program for children with disabilities administered within the state, including each program administered by any other agency, is under the general supervision of the superintendent of public instruction, meets the education standards of the board of public education, and meets the requirements of the superintendent of public instruction, reserving to the other agencies and political subdivisions their full responsibilities for other aspects of the care of children needing special education or for providing or paying for some or all of the costs of a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities within the state;
(13) contracting for the delivery of audiological services to those children allowed by Montana law in accordance with policies of the board of public education; and
(14) except for those children who qualify for residential services under the Montana public mental health program
pursuant to Title 53, chapter 6, contracting with a public school district or a private residential facility for the provision of a
free appropriate public education for a child
when a state agency places a child with disabilities who is in need of special
education in: (a) an in-state residential facility or children's psychiatric hospital; or (b) an out-of-state public school or private residential facility placed in an in-state residential facility or children's
Section 5. Section 20-7-420, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-7-420. Residency requirements -- financial responsibility for special education. (1) In accordance with the provisions of 1-1-215, a child's district of residence for special education purposes is the residence of the child's parents or of the child's guardian if the parents are deceased, unless otherwise determined by the court. This applies to a child living at home, in an institution, or under foster care. If the parent has left the state, the parent's last-known district of residence is the child's district of residence.
(2) The county of residence is financially responsible for tuition and transportation as established under 20-5-323 for a
child with disabilities, as defined in 20-7-401, including a child who has been placed by a state agency in a foster care or
group home licensed by the state. The county of residence is not financially responsible for tuition and transportation for a
with disabilities who is placed by a state agency in an out-of-state public school or an out-of-state private residential
(3) If an eligible child, as defined in 20-7-436, is receiving inpatient treatment in an in-state residential treatment facility or children's psychiatric hospital, as defined in 20-7-436, and the educational services are provided by a public school district under the provisions of 20-7-411 or 20-7-435, the superintendent of public instruction shall reimburse the district providing the services for the negotiated amount, as established pursuant to 20-7-435(5), that represents the district's costs of providing education and related services. Payments must be made from funds appropriated for this purpose. If the negotiated amount exceeds the daily membership rate under 20-7-435(3) and any per-ANB amount of direct state aid, the superintendent of public instruction shall pay the remaining balance from available funds. However, the amount spent from available funds for this purpose may not exceed $500,000 during any biennium.
(4) Under the provisions of 20-7-422(3), the superintendent of public instruction shall provide funds for the education fees
required to provide a free appropriate public education for a child with disabilities who is in need of special education and
related services and is placed by a state agency in an out-of-state private residential facility or out-of-state public school,
provided that, in determining the special education services needed for the child with disabilities, the district of residence
has complied with the rules promulgated under 20-7-402. (5)(4) A state agency that makes a placement of a child with disabilities is responsible for the financial costs of room and
board and the treatment of the child. The state agency that makes an out-of-state placement of a child with disabilities is
responsible for the education fees required to provide a free appropriate public education that complies with the
requirements of Title 20, chapter 7, part 4."
Section 6. Section 20-7-422, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-7-422. Out-of-state placement of children with disabilities -- payment of costs. (1) In accordance with a placement made by persons determining an individualized education program for a child with disabilities, the trustees of a district may arrange for the attendance of the child in a special education program offered outside of the state of Montana.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), when the persons determining the individualized education program of a child with disabilities who is in need of special education recommend placement in an out-of-state private residential facility, the trustees of the district of residence shall negotiate the amount and manner of payment of all costs associated with the placement.
(3) Whenever a child with disabilities who is in need of special education and related services
is adjudicated by a court of
competent jurisdiction to be an abused or neglected child as defined in 41-3-102 or a youth in need of supervision or
delinquent youth as defined in 41-5-103 and is placed by a state agency in an out-of-state private residential facility, the
superintendent of public instruction state agency making the placement shall negotiate with: (a) the provider for the amount and manner of payment of education fees consistent with the individualized education
program determined for the child under the provisions of 20-7-402; and (b) the state agency that makes the placement for the portion of the placement costs that represents the child's education
program pay the education costs resulting from the placement.
Payments for a child with disabilities as negotiated in subsection (3) must be paid by the superintendent of public
instruction from the state special education appropriation The state agency shall place the child with disabilities in a facility
that will provide the child with a free appropriate public education that complies with the requirements of Title 20, chapter
7, part 4."
Section 7. Repealer. Section 20-5-316, MCA, is repealed.
Section 8. Coordination instruction. If House Bill No. 2 does not include appropriations to the department of corrections and to the department of public health and human services to pay for the education costs associated with out-of-state education placements, then [this act] is void.
Section 9. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.